According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors), Apple's (AAPL -0.69%) next-generation iPhone, tentatively dubbed the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, could get some pretty substantial upgrades from the iPhone 6/6 Plus. If Kuo's report is accurate, this could be the biggest leap forward yet in the iPhone.
Let's dig in.
Force Touch, same screen sizes
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will reportedly feature the same display sizes and resolutions featured on the current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, respectively. The main difference, as has been previously rumored, is that both phones are said to feature the Force Touch feature found on the Apple Watch and in the trackpad of Apple's new MacBook.
If Apple can execute this properly, it could fundamentally change the way users interact with their iPhones. This change alone could be a major factor that drives customers to upgrade older-generation iPhones to newer ones; it could also be instrumental to getting more Android users to switch over to iPhones.
Higher-resolution, likely higher-quality, camera
Apple is known to be big on delivering a best-in-class camera experience. According to Kuo, the company plans to upgrade the iPhone 6's sensor from an 8-megapixel sensor to a 12-megapixel sensor. I also expect Apple to upgrade the image signal processor inside the A9 processor to deliver more robust features and better image quality.
Better Touch ID, faster processor, more RAM, and gesture control.
The report said the next iPhones will feature an Apple A9 processor, which is likely to bring a solid performance improvement from the A8 used in the iPhone 6/6 Plus. The report added that Apple will move from 1GB of LPDDR3 in the iPhone 6/6 Plus to 2GB of LPDDR4.
Additionally, Apple will reportedly improve the "recognition rate" of Touch ID "in a bid to promote Apple Pay."
Finally, Kuo asserted that the new iPhone will have "gesture control support." Gesture control had been previously used on the Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF) Galaxy S4, but Phone Arena has pointed out that implementation was far from perfect.
Perhaps Apple will get it right?
iPhone, soon to be stronger and available in rose gold.
Kuo said Apple will remedy the "bending issue" that some iPhone users reported with the iPhone 6/6 Plus by using both "different casing materials" and "internal mechanical design changes." I look forward to seeing how Apple markets these features; perhaps the slogan "Apple's strongest iPhone yet" will do the trick?
With the iPhone 5s, Apple introduced gold-colored models, which seem to have done pretty well in the market. It seems that with the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, Apple will go a step further by introducing a "rose gold" model.
When will Apple start production?
The new iPhones will go into production in "mid-to-late August," according to Kuo. The analyst also said Apple expects to ship 80 million to 90 million of these newer iPhones during 2015. Finally, the report said those shipments will be split roughly two-to-one in favor of the 4.7-inch model.
iPhone's biggest leap forward yet?
These rumored updates coming to the next phone, in aggregate, look both sensible and compelling. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus seem likely to be worthy successors to the current iPhone lineup. To have a chance of delivering year-over-year growth from the very high unit shipments of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, they'll have to be.